Performance Analysis 101

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What’s this new fancy word you’ve been hearing floating around the football industry, you ask? A ‘performance analyst’ is someone who lives and breathes the tactical and analytical side of the game, who may not even ever enter the football pitch itself. They are interested in analyzing anything that has to do with performance, whether that be through quantitative (such as data, statistics, numbers, etc.) or qualitative means (opinion-based insights).

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That can extend beyond just performance on the pitch, to include training methods, player psychology, fitness and endurance, and pre-match preparations. It can also extend beyond just your typical pre-match opposition and post-match game reports, to scouting and recruitment, data analysis, player analysis, and more. Performance analysts are jacks of all trades, who need to be highly skilled in areas beyond just footballing knowledge, including presentation design and facilitation, video editing, communication skills, and mathematical competence.

If a performance analyst can check off even half of these boxes, they will well be on their way toward the main goal at hand. What is that, you ask? It’s a fair question. Why have a performance analyst, devoted and dedicated to something that the manager or assistant coaches may be fully capable of handling on their own? Well, when the right person finds the right role, the use of performance analysis can enhance a coach/manager’s knowledge of their own team and how to achieve success, and can also greatly benefit individual players in their ability to perform and reach new levels. Adam David of Maccabi Haifa FC appeared on the Modern Soccer Coach Podcast a few years ago, detailing how he tailors his analysis to suit the individual’s own needs and desires. Some players prefer to know everything about their opposition and how to cope with the individual battles they are about to face, whereas others prefer to go in blind, and feel the game out as it evolves.

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If you want to distill and remove bias all the more, you can even have a performance analyst who works remotely, and remains objective from the rest of the process. They can therefore offer up their (relatively) unbiased opinion as an outsider, without having the context of seeing the players week in and week out.


Welcome one. Welcome all. It is with great pleasure that we invite you into our brand-new course – Introduction to Football Analysis. While the word “introduction” finds itself placed in our course title, this opportunity is suitable for anyone with any degree of analytical background – from beginners to experts. The important part is that you are here to learn. You are here to take your footballing knowledge, your footballing craft, to the next level.

Whether you want to become a Performance Analyst for a pro club, a top level tactics writer, or simply just expand your knowledge to show your friends how much smarter you are in conversation, this course will teach you everything you need to know. In fact, I’m going to be teaching you EVERYTHING I’ve learned in the past decade working in the game – as a coach, analyst, technical director, podcaster, writer, and website CEO. That my friends, is priceless; and will be a huge time saver toward your development. But who am I?


Get started with your journey in analysis, or log in to get started with this article!

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See more details about the course:
Introduction to Football Analysis – Online Course with Rhys Desmond


Do you want to work in football analysis, either for a website or professional club? Do you want to enhance your tactical and analytical understanding, and develop your craft on the quest to becoming a football expert? Then this course is for you! Course attendees will achieve the following rewards and benefits!

-> Develop a greater understanding of football tactics, and the various forms of analysis.

-> Learn strategies for conducting top-tier football analysis, and how to separate yourself from the pack in creating insightful pieces in performance analysis, scouting & recruitment, match analysis and data analysis.

-> Set yourself up for a career in analysis and learn valuable tips for getting started in the industry.

-> Gain new networks and connections within the football industry, while learning from a leading expert in the field.

By purchasing this course, you are making a commitment to accept our *Terms of Use.

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Copyright and intellectual property rights in football writing & analysis

Let’s be clear. Educational / ‘fair use’ is not copying someone’s words and claiming them as your own. What is the point in being a content creator if you’re not going to create content? What is the point in being a content creator if you’re not going to have original ideas? We are all biased by our experiences, and we are all welcome to echo others and use the work of others as inspiration for our own ideas. But there is line that must not be crossed, and as soon as it’s crossed, the wolves are welcome to come out.

Find me a player for…

One of the most commonly used scouting tools today is to find a similar comparison to an already existing professional player. This is used as a useful way of sizing up a player, and identifying their strengths, weaknesses, skillsets, and style of play in relation to a known quantity. But we must remember that a range of topics go into any recruitment scenario, in our quest to find the best fit. In this article, as part of our Introduction to Football Analysis course, we detail how to ‘Find a player for ___’.

Social media management in football analysis

Where would I be without sharing my work on Twitter? Absolutely nowhere. I wouldn’t be helping anyone, and I wouldn’t have the strong following that I’ve developed across the site. Twitter is responsible for approximately 1,000 views on my site per day, and where I’ve had some of the best football conversations I’ve ever had. So today, I’m going to be sharing my best tips and tricks to managing a social media account in football analysis, and how to get the most out of your experience.

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